First Review of Advanced Screening of “The Vow”

Yesterday were the first advanced screenings of “The Vow” in San Francisco, Boston and Dallas. posted their review of the movie, you can read it below but be aware of spoilers. The first reactions from the audience can be found over here. “The Vow” will be released February 10, 2012.

The Vow is one of the best romance movies of recent years. It takes your emotions and twists them around while combining typical romcom bs. It’s a chick flick through and through and contains all the elements you love and hate about movies like this. But in the end, it pulls it all together to deliver a truly touching picture with a solid story. Loosely (very loosely) inspired by true events, The Vow tells the story of a marriage forgotten. Imagine waking up after a horrendous car crash to a man claiming to be your husband who you don’t remember even meeting. That’s what happens to Paige and Leo played by the immensely cute Rachel McAdams and buff heartthrob Channing Tatum. “I gotta make my wife fall in love with me again.”

The movie begins with the crash which they shot in super slow motion showing you the accident in clear detail that will make you think twice about ever taking off your seatbelt ever again. Narrated by the dunce monotone voice of Channing Tatum, we’re brought into the relationship and showed how it all began. This is where you know for sure it’s a chick flick…Paige and Leo’s early relationship is giggle worth and there will be lots of “awww”s from the audience. It’s cute and cuddly and immediately puts you on the side of Leo for their relationship. But why would you need to choose sides? We soon learn that Paige had it out with her family before she met Leo and now her family (which she despised) is all she can remember. She doesn’t remember her husband Leo but she remembers her ex-fiance Jeremy (Scott Speedman). Uh ooooh! Drama!!!

A lot of the script is obvious as it panders to the heartstrings of teary-eyed females. The typical memory-loss antics are played out as well as romcom good guy vs bad guy scenes where the bad guy is both Paige’s ex-fiance and Paige’s father strictly played by Sam Neill. The loving family of Paige is rounded out by mother Jessica Lange and sister Rachel Skarsten. You know something is up with their family but you just can’t put your finger on it. You can tell Leo just wants Paige to be happy but also wants the love of his life back (Girls, you can go “awww” again here). He does everything he can to remind her of what she became but is only an outsider in the life that she can remember. We’re introduced to her as a fun-loving open-minded hippie vegetarian and now she’s back to being a sweater-wearing sorority girl stepford wife who loves filet mignon (AND BACON!). (Also, poor vs rich themes play their role in this one – they tried to play to every sentiment)

I really liked this movie – it has its slow and dull moments but I’m sure those are some audience members’ favorite scenes (that will eventually be turned into images to be reblogged on tumblr). You can’t help but put yourself in their positions and wonder what you would do. They formed the story around true devotion so Tatum’s character in the movie, Leo, can really do no wrong. They do throw in some mistakes for him where audience members murmur, “stupid” and “dumb ass” during the movie but he will become every girl’s hero. There were a couple of things I couldn’t stand, however. They set up the time of this movie to be present day by mentioning that Obama is President…so why was there no mention of Facebook!? At one point Paige asked for proof of the relationship…he came back with a voicemail rather than whipping out a laptop with her status updates and relationship status…really? Also, Leo (and eventually) Paige’s friends were all hipsters. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are not hipsters…they did not fit in their group at all. Leo’s character is supposed to be a hip musician that owns a recording studio. He acted more like a plumber or car salesman.

The movie comes out Valentine’s Day and I would say it’s a perfect date movie to restrengthen your relationship. True love. Perseverance. Devotion. Blah blah. If you like any movie where the poster is two giant heads nearly kissing, then this is the movie for you! The story is simple and general yet powerful. There’s an excruciating scene where the movie is definitely a tear jerker – you will hear a lot of sniffling around you so bring tissues if you’re a leaky faucet. Guys, don’t be afraid to take your girls out to this one – it’s not that bad. You get a little McAdams eye candy but girls get a lot more Channing Tatum eye candy – and butt candy. The Vow takes your emotions up and down but don’t worry, if you’re a fan of romance novels and/or movies, I can almost guarantee that you’ll squeal by the end in glee (the girls next to me did).